HoloLens (photo credit: news.microsoft.com)

HoloLens (photo credit: news.microsoft.com)

1. Free upgrade for Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 8.1 Phone users

Microsoft has promised customers who use these versions of Windows a free upgrade in the first year after the launch of Windows 10.

The company also says it will “continue to keep it current for the supported lifetime of the device – at no cost”. It’s promising to deliver new features when they are ready rather than wait for the next major release.

2. Holographic computing

Microsoft has declared that Windows 10 is the “world’s first holographic computing platform”. It unveiled a headset called Microsoft HoloLens designed to bring high-definition holograms to life and be useful.

For example you could develop new ideas more easily, visualising them in the real world. Another example on the Microsoft HoloLens site shows how a person on a Skype video call is projected on a wall and using their tablet draw instructions – using something called HoloNotes – to help the wear of the HoloLens in a difficult task.

The operating system could one day be projected over views of the real world, with HoloLens not needing to be teathered to other devices to work.

3. Voice controls

Microsoft’s personal digital assistant, Cortana, will come to PC and tablets with Windows 10. Interaction is via talking or typing, according to the tech firm.

4. New web browser

As expected, a new-look browser with a simplified layout has been unveiled. Code-named Spartan, features include the ability to annotate by keyboard or pen onto the web page and share. Cortana will also be integrated.

5. Start menu is back

The much loved start menu is back with users able to pin favourite apps, while Microsoft says a familiar feel will help users.

6. For phones, tablets, 2-in-1 devices and Xbox

Microsoft says Windows 10 on phones and tablets seamlessly interacts with your PC, offering a fast, fluid and familiar experience. When it comes to Xbox gaming,the promise is the ability to access the best of the Xbox live gaming network on PC running Windows 10 as well as Xbox One.

For 2-in-1 devices, Microsoft says Windows 10 will easily switch between tablet/touch and keyboard/mouse modes.

7. Universal applications

New Office apps will offer a consistent touch-first experience across devices, according to Microsoft, while the next desktop version is still under development.

There will be other universal apps as well, which use Microsoft’s OneDrive storage system, to allow users to use across devices.

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